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Reader/Author Discussion > Why become an indie writer?

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message 1: by Christy (new)

Christy Stewart (christyleighstewart) Since this is the best group for indie writers, I was wondering how all you authors came to BE indie writers (independent/self-pubshed).

What are your guy's stories?


message 2: by Holly (new)

Holly Christine | 7 comments When I completed The Nine Lives of Clemenza, I never gave a thought to self-publishing. I sent out query letters to agents and publishers alike and waited for a year.
I re-read the book, trying to figure out what was wrong, but instead found myself enjoying the story. I wanted to find out what other readers thought, so I found Lulu and published the book shortly after.
I'm happy that I did. I published in March of this year and have reached over 500 readers since then. I think of it as being proactive. It's a ton of work, but extremely rewarding!


message 3: by Sherry (last edited Aug 19, 2009 05:48AM) (new)

Sherry (sherylmarasi) | 150 comments Mod
Good question, Christy!

I have written an adult novel in the past and gave up querrying after 25 letters (too soon, I know). Then I wrote a screenplay that was my baby. The story was (is) phenominal. After sending querys to every agent and producer I could find, it went no where. And to tell you the truth, I was disgusted with the industry. After writing Danny Chalmers for my son, he insisted it was good enough to get published. So, I queried about 15 times with no response. I realized something throughout that aweful process...I'm writing so that the people I know and love can read my stories. So, why not self publish? And so I did. Honestly, I would love for people everywhere to read my work, it would truly tickle me pink and make me feel like an "accomplished" writer. But my main joy comes from hearing my family (especially my son) say they are proud and love my work :) He deserved to get the story in book form.


message 4: by Christy (new)

Christy Stewart (christyleighstewart) Initially, I decided to do it for fun. I like acting on impulsive ideas that lead to tangible outcomes (I wont ever just get in the car and drive to Vegas, but I will drive to the $1 Store and Good Will to come back home and build a replica of Jesus on the cross if the fancy strikes me.)

My intentions for remaining and SUPPORTING indie writers stems from an ideology, a spiritualist perspective, and a personal form of protest.

Ideology/Spirituality: This will seem the most wack-job part of my post (God willing), but I am very religious, very spiritual, and very much an occultist through and through. Writing and story telling is a work of art and should be shown in it's purest sense. Once it has been through the hands of tons of people, putting their own biases on it and remodeling it, it becomes a product, no longer art. Unlike most people, I don't mind bad spelling, bad grammar, plot holes, all those things that the nazi-reviewers harp on. Art is most moving when you can see the profane and the human qualities behind it. The same goes for writing. Why is a story any better because it's more factual, or coherent? I’ve yet to experience a factual or coherent life. Those who do, are living in their own allusions.

Protest: I’ve seen “experts” devalue any work that hasn’t come from a company, and it has become my biggest pet peeve. They say the internet is ruining the music business; not because of file sharing, but because of kids putting their own music together in their bedrooms and saturating listeners with unprofessional music. That real music is music that is signed and bought.

If that seems preposterous, I want to again assure you I’ve HEARD it said. It begs the question of, if popular bands of today are real musicians and artists, what were they before they were discovered? It’s the ‘If a tree falls in the forest, and no one hears it, does it make a noise?’ Yes, the tree makes noise, and it’s a noise that is so unfiltered from human consciousness that you would consider it evidence of the eternal.

Dramatic enough?

Our world has become so consumer obsessed, and I see NOTHING wrong with that. I’m not your anti-establishment 20-something with nothing better to do than blog about my ideals. Consumerism is the BEST, but what our problem has become are the obsessions with the brand names. If a shirt isn’t from HERE it’s trash. If a band isn’t under THIS label they’re lame. If a book doesn’t have a professional publishing house it’s not as worthy. This is insane and this thinking will lead us to our end. It’s teaching people that they are worthless unless they are validated by a faceless company, becoming just another free advertisement for them.

I say, don’t send your work into publishers. Why do you need them? They need YOU. I hope that this new generation who was raised on putting their own work out on the internet for the masses and having direct feedback will feel more worthy than to submit their art to a machine. Let the publishing companies sell themselves to YOU, not of vise versa.

Let what’s happening to the news industry happen to the literary industry. Let’s let truth (in all it’s falsehoods) be told by the people, and not by marketers.

I want to never even submit anything to a company to approve. I don’t want to support a machine toting itself as art. Not that anything I have, or will ever, write is philosophical or even worth a free download, but that’s just the point. Not only the conspiracy theorists, socially shunned philosophers, or what-have-yous should be releasing their work in unhampered and unpolished forms, we all should. The real magick behind something is lost when it has been distanced from the unconscious mind. That’s 101 in witchcraft, and nothing is more powerful in witchcraft than art.

“Seeing art with your eyes closed is the end of art” has been an argument that many make in an attempt to cling to their superiority. I say, seeing art with your eyes closed is the only true way to see art.

Biron Gysin I am not, but hopefully I can help to continue his work to free society from commercialized control solely by living those values.

Good luck, and good night.






Good God that was a pretentious post.


message 5: by Catherine (new)

Catherine | 3 comments I tried for a year to find an agent, sent out over 50 queries, never got one request for the MS. An "expert" in the traditional publishing industry had already told me that no agent or publisher would even bother to read my MS because it was too long (I offered it as a trilogy) and because I had never published anything before. The "expert" suggested that I write a shorter book, sell that, be a big success, and then maybe a publisher would be interested in publishing the BIG book. I figured I wouldn't live long enough to do that.

When I started looking into self-publishing, I discovered that there are many advantages other than just the fact of getting published. Most important to me was control. In traditional publishing, unless you are a very popular author with lots of clout, you have no control of the title, the cover, even some of the content, or the marketing. Nicola Griffith just blogged about the marketing campaigns for her "Aud" books:
http://asknicola.blogspot.com/2009/08...
The title of the blog post is "marketing can kill."

I know it will take significantly longer for my books to find their audience, but at least they're out there, and they're just the way I wanted them. I know people complain about poor editing in self-published books, but the flip side of that is the readers gets exactly what the author was trying to say. I can't imagine an art dealer walking into an artist's studio and suggesting that maybe that picture needs more green, or maybe Picasso should have put the woman's nose closer to where it belongs. I would rather read an author's work "in the raw" than after some editor had worked it over to make it more commercial.

Catherine M. Wilson

http://www.whenwomenwerewarriors.com/
http://www.catherine-m-wilson.com/
Free e-book offer:
http://www.catherinemwilson.com/free-...


message 6: by Christy (new)

Christy Stewart (christyleighstewart) Catherine wrote: "I know people complain about poor editing in self-published books, but the flip side of that is the readers gets exactly what the author was trying to say. I can't imagine an art dealer walking into an artist's studio and suggesting that maybe that picture needs more green, or maybe Picasso should have put the woman's nose closer to where it belongs. I would rather read an author's work "in the raw" than after some editor had worked it over to make it more commercial."

Exactly!




message 7: by Svetlana (new)

Svetlana Kovalkova-McKenna I do not see self-publishing as some kind of "holy war" against publishing houses. There are publishing houses I respect greatly and pay attention to, because the works and the authors they choose are some of the best.

I cannot imagine trying to land great books to read without publishing houses helping us out. Editing, fact checking, finding and supporting authors - it is a great professional group of people who have brought to our attention some of my favorite books.

I do not want to get into discussing politics of who gets published and why. Publishing industry is a humangous machine and I agree that it is hard to get published even for the best of us. I remember the story about how "Harry Potter" got published - lucky for us, the agent gave it a chance.

I see self-publishing as an independent branch of publishing that compliments, but does not replace the publishing houses industry.

Technology is here to help us once more. It was very rewarding to be able to do all the work myself to lay out and publish the books, to connect with readers, to just physically hold the published books in my hands.




message 8: by Holly (new)

Holly Christine | 7 comments Well said, Christy! I know what you feel and understand your sentiments... the big push for me into self publishing was reading about Rod Blagojevich's six figure advance from Phoenix Books. I think I nearly lost it. Additionally, I read that Andrew Davidson received 1.25 mil for "The Gargoyle." This translates to "not accepting new fiction." Also, George W is rumored to receive 7 (SEVEN!!!) million from Crown for a book named "Decision Points."

Indie publishing (and especially POD publishing) is not only great for writers... it's offering more new work for readers. Let the readers decide what they enjoy, not the publishers.


message 9: by Christy (new)

Christy Stewart (christyleighstewart) Svetlana wrote: "I do not see self-publishing as some kind of "holy war" against publishing houses. There are publishing houses I respect greatly and pay attention to, because the works and the authors they choose are some of the best."

I don't see it as a holy war either. Au contraire, it is the most UNHOLY of wars.

I agree, following some publishers can lead you to find books you'll want to try or to stay away from. This doesn't mean they aren't all manufactured, for all the good and bad that brings.

Svetlana wrote: "I cannot imagine trying to land great books to read without publishing houses helping us out. Editing, fact checking, finding and supporting authors - it is a great professional group of people who have brought to our attention some of my favorite books. "

If we're talking about fiction, then I still think the mistakes are worthy of keeping, for the most part, and what's the use of having fact in fiction?

As for nonfiction, I'm in the group that says that fact is only what people want you to believe. I like to read "alternative fact" books. Besides, I've read a LOT of mainstream nonfiction books that had a lot of false information.


message 10: by Christy (new)

Christy Stewart (christyleighstewart) Holly wrote: "Indie publishing (and especially POD publishing) is not only great for writers... it's offering more new work for readers. Let the readers decide what they enjoy, not the publishers. "

I totally agree.



message 11: by Sierra (new)

Sierra Rose (sierrarose) | 35 comments I've done the whole query letter process with another novel I wrote years ago and while I still may again, for this series and any other piece I write now I find the self-publishing route through Lulu and Createspace better for me.

I write mainly for myself and then my readers so using those two places works well for me. I don't need what's called traditional publishing to feel like a writer or an author since I know I'll be blind as a bat if I went that route and I certainly hope to have all five in this series out in print and my other works transcribed from paper to computer before the inevitable happens.


message 12: by K.L. (new)

K.L. Brady (karlab27) | 22 comments I was a query ho, sending my query from agent to agent, sitting on pins and needles waiting for them to grace me with a form rejection. But I eventually reached the point where I simply did not want to let the publishing industry--an agent, an editor, or a publishing house--define who I was as a writer or to control my ability to share my work with whomever thought it was worthy enough to read. And let's face it, the publishing industry is full of humans who don't always get it right...shudder the thought. I think self publishing is a great venue to allow the readers decide what they want to read.

Holly, Christy and others have made such excellent points. I'm happy with my decision. I defined myself as a writer worthy of publishing and I feel damn good about it. My deepest hope is that my audience, whomever they turn out to be, get as much out of my work as I put into it. The biggest compliment to me is not an advance (although I'd certainly not refuse one) but it is getting a note from someone who tells me they loved my story, they related to my character, something in my work lifted their spirit, made them laugh out loud, touched them in a personal way, or even changed their life.


message 13: by Sherry (new)

Sherry (sherylmarasi) | 150 comments Mod
Well said, K.L.


message 14: by Christy (new)

Christy Stewart (christyleighstewart) Wonderful comments KL, I couldn't agree more.


message 15: by G.H. (new)

G.H. Monroe (ghmonroe) | 28 comments I write because I love to write. The people who read my short stories seemed to enjoy them and I had aspirations of writing a full length novel. So when I saw Createspace's site and read how they operated, I knew I would write a novel and have it published there. In order to learn their process, I decided to do a collection of my short stories (That's My Story!) first. The actual publication was a stunning success as the production went very smoothly. I don't believe the actual book went badly either, but the readers will be the ultimate judge of this.


message 16: by Alison (new)

Alison | 13 comments I love to write, don't we all? or we wouldn't be here would we? I was like K.L. I queried about 50 agents and through all that time I avidly read several agent blogs, all of whom spouted the same thing. That it was virtually impossible to sell new authors. I had my manuscript requested a few times and although the feedback was good they all had the same reason for passing. They enjoyed the story but didn't think their editors would be interested.

My turning point came when I read a post that told of publishing houses re-printing their backlisted titles from 10 years ago that sold well. They don't have to pay advances, or editing costs, just re-do the cover and market as a 'new' book.

I had spent 8 months querying and in that time I started to realize that if I was suddenly offered a 2 or 3 book deal (we can all dream) my creativity would probably fly straight out the window if I was faced with deadlines etc.

With all of that in mind I decided to look into the self-publishing option and found Createspace, which in turn lead me here and to Jacketflap. I feel good about my decision and already have 3 local booksignings lined up for me when my book is ready.


message 17: by Christy (new)

Christy Stewart (christyleighstewart) Congrats Alison! It seems like the indie writing really complimented you.

What's Jacketflap?


message 18: by Alison (new)

Alison | 13 comments Hi Christy, Jacketflap is another website similar to this one but is dedicated to Children's and YA books. My book is YA so I joined that site, too.

Everything I have read about self-publishing, and also it is getting more demanded of authors who get published the traditional way, is that you need to build a web presence and network, network, network.

I love these sites because you can learn so much from other's experiences and knowledge. Hopefully one day I will know enough to be able to give back.


message 19: by Christy (new)

Christy Stewart (christyleighstewart) Oh, cool! I love the name Jacketflap. I'll have to check it out.


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